Darren Waller, a great tight end with the Raiders, recently announced that he will be making his return to action this week. We can now see that forecast come true. Waller is among several players who have returned to practice on Wednesday, according to multiple reporters covering the Raiders.
Waller is apparently out with a hamstring strain rather than staging a “hold in” to get the new deal he wants. Linebacker Divine Deablo and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin have also resumed practicing alongside Waller.
In addition, players who started training camp on the physically unable to perform list are participating in Wednesday’s practice, including cornerback Trayvon Mullen, receiver Dillon Stoner, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols. Even though the Raiders haven’t made an official statement, it appears like the three players are no longer on the PUP list.
Tashan Reed of TheAthletic.com reports that the following players will not be participating in Wednesday’s Las Vegas practice: running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Jesper Horsted, tight end Jacob Hollister, offensive tackle Brandon Parker, defensive end Clelin Ferrell, linebacker Denzel Perryman, and cornerback Anthony Averett.
The rookie class for the Ravens completely dominated all facets of their 24-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Random, but true:
Darren Waller was the FIRST tight end in the last 5 seasons with 100 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns in the 1st half of an NFL game 👀💪 pic.twitter.com/I7G1dPmbZ0
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) August 17, 2022
The team’s tight end, Isaiah Likely, was the driving force, and his play garnered national acclaim. Pundits are expecting big things from Likely since former tight end Greg Olsen set the bar so high with 100 yards and a touchdown on just eight receptions.
Olsen stated on the FOX broadcast, “They can’t tackle this man.” “Since zone defense didn’t work against him, the other team decided to switch things up and go man. And finally, the sprint to the end zone after a successful catch. After the catch, [he] resembles a younger version of Darren Waller. This youngster well exceeds expectations.”
Max McGee of SportsCenter has high hopes for the 22-year-old, saying that he might make the Pro Bowl in his rookie year, comparing him favorably to Pro Bowler Waller, who has posted two 1,000-yard seasons. Even more media sites praised the rookie after the nation finally got to see what the media and Ravens’ fan base had been talking about for weeks.
Quote from Bobby Kownack “The first-year player displayed a maturity well beyond his years by always finding the hole in Arizona’s zone coverage and making plays against single defenders with clean routes. Likely caught five passes for 67 yards and a touchdown on the Ravens’ final drive of the first half, which began at the Cardinals’ 20-yard line.”
Using words from the Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer: “A preseason like this doesn’t happen to many tight ends. The fourth-round pick kept up his impressive play from last month when he was so dominant against Sun Belt Conference defenders that it was hard to believe he was doing so a year ago.”
He caught 12 passes for 103 yards and a score in Week 2 of the 2020 season, a 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. On October 5, 2020, he was fined $30,000 by the NFL for not following the league’s COVID-19 rules during the 2020 season by holding a charity event without requiring attendees to wear face masks.
Waller set a new Raiders team record for a tight end with 13 catches for 200 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 win over the New York Jets in Week 13. Waller caught nine passes for 150 yards and a score on Thursday Night Football in Week 15’s 30-27 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Waller caught five passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in Week 16’s 26-25 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Waller caught the game-winning 2-point conversion pass late in the fourth quarter of the Raiders’ 32-31 victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 17. He also had 9 receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Waller set new personal bests in catches (107), receiving yards (1,196), and touchdowns (5) during the 2020 season (9). As a tight end, his 107 receptions were the most in the NFL, and his 1,416 receiving yards were second only to Travis Kelce’s total.
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